Computers & Electronics

Shopping for USB-C Hubs - Recommendations?

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  • Feb 22nd, 2023 11:38 pm
[OP]
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Oct 13, 2007
4571 posts
3506 upvotes
Edmonton

Shopping for USB-C Hubs - Recommendations?

I am looking at getting a USB-C hub, likely through Amazon. There are a lot of them but the common thread in the reviews seems to be that one or more of the ports fails within a relatively short period of time. There always seems to be a core group of reviews for any model citing this failure.

I plan top use mine with an iMac but I don't want the hassle of returning it or not being able to return a defective unit after the expiry of the return period.

So I am wondering what the consensus is here. Is it a matter of getting what you pay for, i.e. are more expensive ones better, are some brands more reliable, etc.? What should I look for, to get a reliable hub?

Maybe some experts here might also comment on why they do fail since it seems to be a relatively simple contraption.
2 replies
Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2008
174 posts
73 upvotes
Windsor
In my experience, we have found a general correlation between cost and lifespan. While I'm not certain since I don't rip them apart when they fail, but, my guess is that the value engineered units seem to have power issues, especially if they are tasked with power delivery (PD). Same with feature sets - the more you pay, the better and more reliable the feature sets are. At work we've almost exclusively settled on Lenovo docks.
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May 11, 2009
7778 posts
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Trudostan
If you just want a literal hub, as in more USB ports, that's easy to do with just about any USB hub. get a USB-C to USB-A adapter and use any random USB3 hub you desire. The trouble starts when cheapo manufacturers start cramming video outputs, card readers, headphone jacks, and other quantity over quality bells and whistles to already low cost devices. Add in USB-C power delivery and you're almost guaranteed to have something go wrong at some point.

I don't have too much experience with the generic hubs, but there's a reason why OEM docking stations cost a good bit more. I went with a ThinkPad USB-C dock and never looked back, you can use any major OEM brand and it should work thanks to USB-C and Thunderbolt being ubiquitous. Brand new these are usually really pricey, but it's not hard to find them for much cheaper on marketplace or kijiji.
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